Avoiding sugar/honey residue in tea cups
October 24, 2008 7:35 AM   Subscribe

Whenever I drink tea, I'm always left with a sticky sugar/honey residue in the bottom of the cup. Is there any way to avoid this?
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Leave a tiny bit of tea in your cup instead of drinking it all. Then, the sugar/honey on the bottom won't get all sticky until you get around to washing it out.

Don't wait too long, or you trade sticky honey for mold.
posted by dmd at 7:37 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure if this will totally clear things up, but if you use sugar, use simple syrup instead of granules to keep from accumulating a mass of sweetener at the bottom. As for honey, one thing I'm fond of doing is preheating the mug with some boiling water before adding tea water, leaves, and honey. It doesn't cool as quickly, and I'd like to think that this results in a more uniform mixture of sweetener and tea. As always, mix well in all cases.
posted by mrmojoflying at 8:01 AM on October 24, 2008

When the tea is down to the last half-inch, give it a good swirl (with a professional-looking flourish) to get the sugar/honey dissolved, and drink it. Only works when the tea is still warm of course.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 8:05 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

If the issue is the stickiness being difficult to wash out, my solution is to put a little water in the bottom of any cups or glasses I've used if I can't wash them right away. It prevents the sugar/honey from drying up and turning into sticky cement.
posted by tastybrains at 8:12 AM on October 24, 2008

One's method of stirring affects how well solid substances are absorbed into the liquid, and thus how much residue is left over. Instead of using round swirls that are concentric to the cup lip, use straight back-and-forth strokes across the diameter, in a motion similar to a bell's clapper.

If you still have residue, then you're probably oversaturating your tea. Just use a bit less sweetening; it shouldn't affect the flavor since the excess could never have been absorbed into the tea the first place.
posted by PsychoKick at 8:30 AM on October 24, 2008

Or, a video illustration of PsychoKick's suggestion.
posted by carsonb at 9:18 AM on October 24, 2008

I get better results when I put the sweetener in the cup before adding the hot water. Mostly you could try using less and see if it helps. If you cringe at the idea of less sugar you can try stevia, which is a bajillion times sweeter than sugar and so only needs a small amount to be effective.
posted by wowbobwow at 9:20 AM on October 24, 2008

Just use a bit less sweetening

That's the rightest answer -- you're adding too much sugar or honey and then wasting the excess. If you need more sugar than a cup of tea will carry in solution, eat something sweet with your tea.
posted by pracowity at 9:21 AM on October 24, 2008

How to make a proper cup of tea

I used to drink my tea with sugar, and then I read the above. "Who cares what George Orwell says?" I cried. "Tea without sugar is tea without sunshine!" Thought about it for a few days, tried it without sugar, and it was strange for all of two cups. Haven't looked back.
posted by coppermoss at 11:53 AM on October 24, 2008

Some people would answer that they don’t like tea in itself, that they only drink it in order to be warmed and stimulated, and they need sugar to take the taste away. To those misguided people I would say: Try drinking tea without sugar for, say, a fortnight and it is very unlikely that you will ever want to ruin your tea by sweetening it again. --George Orwell
Ditch the sugar. I promise it tastes better.
posted by Netzapper at 12:08 PM on October 24, 2008

For Tea and Coffee, I always put my sweetner, cream, whatever, in first. This way the hot liquid will disolve it better, and in the case of th creamer, it will warm up the cream, instead of putting cold creamer in a warm beverage which will cool down your beverage.
posted by JAD'E at 1:13 PM on October 24, 2008

Agree with Netzapper, and the problem clearly indicates you're over sweetening.

One suggestion i don't see is to IMMEDIATELY rinse out the cup after you finish, that will resolve the issue. (sorry if that's a lame answer, your question does seem geared towards avoiding the issue in the first place.)
posted by oblio_one at 6:02 PM on October 24, 2008

« Older How would you win the Krypton Factor?   |   Wanted: Ideas for beginner's audio projects Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.